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3 Central Pa. restaurants closed for violating state COVID-19 mitigation and safety orders

Two of the restaurants are located in Lancaster County, while the third is in Dauphin County. All allegedly refused to comply while inspectors were present.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Note: The video above is from December 2020.

Three Central Pennsylvania restaurants were closed for violating state COVID-19 mitigation and safety orders during the latest enforcement efforts announced Wednesday by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

Two of the restaurants were located in Lancaster County, while the third was in Dauphin County, according to data released by the department.

A fourth restaurant in Schuylkill County was also closed for violating COVID-19 safety orders, the department said.

The Central PA restaurants closed were:

  • Village Cafe, 3614 Old Philadelphia Pike, Gordonville, Lancaster County
  • White Horse Luncheonette, 5562 Old Philadelphia Pike, Gap, Lancaster County
  • Fire & Ice Smokehouse & Creamery, 3417 Peters Mountain Road, Halifax, Dauphin County

Inspectors with the department's Bureau of Food Safety performed a total of 486 inspections between Feb. 15-21, according to data released by the state. Of those, 28 were complaint-driven, the department said. A total of 21 complaints were related to COVID-19 mitigation measures, according to the department.

The department received 502 food facility COVID-19 related complaints, 76 of which were referred to local and county health jurisdictions.

A county-by-county breakdown of COVID-19 restaurant enforcement actions can be found on the Department of Agriculture’s website.

Consumers with general food safety complaints or concerns about non-compliance for COVID-19 mitigation can file a complaint online, according to the department.

Current COVID-19 mitigation measures in restaurants include:

  • Self-certified restaurants may open at 50 percent capacity for indoor dining. Restaurants that have not self-certified are at 25 percent capacity for indoor dining,
  • On-premises alcohol consumption prohibited unless part of a meal; cocktails-to-go and carryout beverages are allowed, and
  • Serving alcohol for on-site consumption must end at 11:00 PM., and all alcoholic beverages must be removed from patrons by midnight.

The Bureau of Food Safety said it operates with an education-first model, and always works to educate and correct issues on-site before taking official action. 

Businesses will receive a closure order if they are confirmed to be operating in violation of COVID-19 mitigation orders and are unwilling to comply while the inspector is present, the department said.

If the restaurant continues to operate in any manner following a closure order, the restaurant will be referred to the Department of Health for further legal action, including an action in Commonwealth Court to enjoin the continued operation of the restaurant in violation of the order.

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